Latest Clergy Abuse Suit Claims Archdiocese Moved Priest from St. Paul to Edina
By Jean Hopfensperger And Tony Kennedy
November 7, 2013
A Catholic priest who was sued more than a decade ago for alleged sexual abuse of a child was sued again Thursday on behalf of another victim for abuse that allegedly took place after the priest was moved to an Edina parish in the mid-1970s.
The lawsuit in Ramsey County District Court against the Rev. Jerome C. Kern also names the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on civil charges related to placing Kern around children in parish settings. The suit alleges that the archdiocese moved the priest to Our Lady of Grace Church in Edina in the early 1970s after parents of two young teenage boys at St. Mark’s Church in St. Paul complained to archdiocese officials that Kern molested the boys during a swimming outing at Lake Nokomis in the summer of 1969.
The lawsuit said that Kern later sexually abused a boy at Our Lady of Grace from 1972 through 1976, when the child was 12 to 16 years old, according to the lawsuit. Jeff Anderson and Mike Finnegan, the St. Paul attorneys who filed Thursday’s lawsuit, said the victim, now in his 50s, approached them recently about his experience in the wake of media coverage of priest sexual misconduct and reported coverups by the archdiocese.
The Kern lawsuit is at least the 19th filed against Minnesota Catholic clergy and leaders since a new state law took effect in late May. The law lifted the statute of limitations for lawsuits claiming clergy sexual abuse of children and it provides a three-year window for litigation of previously barred claims.